Made to Last: Canon (non-digital) Elph APS Camera: Still Ticking in 2010

Back in the days when most consumer digital photography had sub-megapixel resolutions, Canon introduced, in 1996, a tiny point-and-shoot camera branded as the Elph in the U.S. (IXUS in Eurote and IXY in Japan). It used a unique film format that never really caught on (APS – Advanced Photo System). I bought one because I liked the Elph’s extremely small size, the quality of its photos, and its option to take panoramic photos (really just a crop of a single APS frame) that was printed in an oversized format. Film was returned in its original cartridge making storage seem easier than storing film negatives.

A local university co-sponsored an electronics recycling event this past weekend. In the process of gathering an embarrasing number of items to recycle (would you believe 8 desktop PCs?), my old Canon Elph surfaced. I couldn’t get myself to toss it away in the recycling heap because of two reasons:

1. The Elph has gadget historical significance for me because it was the first of ultra-compact Canon cameras I’ve owned over the years. My first Canon digital camera was the first Digital Elph followed by a couple of Canon’s PowerShot SD series that replaced the Elph branding.

2. If you look at the photo of the Elph’s LCD status display, you’ll note that the camera and its battery are still working and keeping an accurate date even though it has not been used in, probably, 8 to 10 years. How could I toss aside a device that keeps running like the Elph even though I doubt if I can find APS film or someplace to process it in 2010?